“Catch” celebrates the miracle of childbirth with several stories all relating to the subject — as well as several other attendant issues.
This recap of New Amsterdam season 3, episode 8, “Catch”, contains spoilers.
It seems like everyone is pregnant in this week’s episode of New Amsterdam, and “Catch” takes a look at the best and worst sides of the miracle of childbirth. There’s pushing, breathing, squeezing, shouting, and a few other issues bundled up in an episode that feels as themed as last week’s, with Max keeping himself especially busy by trying to ensure the safe delivery of a child while still working on systemic racism. You’ve got to aim high!
The trouble is that Max’s patient, Evelyn Davis (Victoire Charles), is a lawyer who has already shut down several hospital maternity departments, so any mistakes on his part could have consequences for the entire hospital. Evelyn is in New Amsterdam to have her second child, and she wants a vaginal birth after a horrifying experience with a C-section that she believed the hospital forced her into. The trouble is that VBACs – vaginal birth after cesarean – are risky at the best of times and supposedly even more so for women of color, and Evelyn wasn’t at all interested in Max’s repeated sincere assertions that they were just trying to ensure the health of her baby. What else is there to do, then, but completely throw out established procedures and protocols, much to the annoyance of Karen?
It’s difficult to know where to stand on this. Evelyn obviously insists that determining the lives of people of color using statistics deprives them of their humanity, which is a fair point, but the counter-argument, presented by Karen, is that cultural trends aren’t inherently racist and tend to be actually based on tangible data. What Max did – manipulating Evelyn’s VBAC “score”, determining the chance of success, by saying she was white – made for a cool moment but possibly a bad medical decision. Obviously, though, it all went swimmingly and he was vindicated, so what can you do?
Things were a lot more saddening for Helen in New Amsterdam season 3, episode 8, since her patient, Nia, had only just given birth when she was told that she had thyroid cancer and would have to isolate from her new family for several months.
This is obviously pretty grim on its face, but Helen was in a bad mood anyway because she’s trying to be a new super-mum to her niece, Mina (Nadia Affolter), who doesn’t seem all that interested in having a relationship with her beyond being able to supplement what seems like quite a hectic social life. Nia’s story has some painful moments and some more uplifting ones, but it’s a thinner subplot, along with Reynolds making a move on a married woman after teaming up with her to deliver a baby while repairing a ruptured appendix, and Bloom accidentally getting Leyla turfed out of her secret storage closet (though how it stayed secret for any length of time given how obviously Bloom lets her in there is anyone’s guess.) This does, admittedly, turn out pretty well, since it results in Bloom inviting Leyla to be her roommate, which they both seem keen on. It seems like a pretty surefire bet at this point that Leyla will end up working at New Amsterdam, but we’ll see.
The other big subplot of “Catch” was Ydalis, a woman who comes into the ED after a fight with another woman at a homeless shelter and ends up discovering that she’s heavily pregnant and in labor. This is news to Ydalis, who believes she’s a virgin, so enter Iggy, here to get to the bottom of matters before a court order forces a thoroughly confused Ydalis into an emergency C-section.
At first, with no better options and no time to get to the root cause of why Ydalis doesn’t realize she’s pregnant, Iggy manipulates her into giving birth naturally, which she isn’t exactly thrilled about. Neither is he, in all honesty – Iggy’s not one for deceiving people, even if you can understand his logic here. After the baby is born, the matter still needs to be addressed, and Ydalis recounts a miserable story of being repeatedly raped by her stepfather’s brother, a trauma she had only been able to survive by completely disassociating herself from it. Since she believed that heinous crime was committed against somebody else, she also believed she was still a virgin. In the wake of all that, Ydalis was in no position to raise her child, but Iggy was able to find the right adoptive couple. New Amsterdam season 3, episode 8 is able to reach a happy ending for all its major story strands, which isn’t exactly uncharacteristic. But I suppose it’s a fitting way to celebrate the beauty of childbirth – not that parenting gets any easier after that.